SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An Illinois lawmaker accused of bribery is refusing to answer a legislative panel's questions, but he insists he is innocent.
Rep. Derrick Smith appeared before a special investigative committee Thursday. He delivered a brief statement but wouldn't testify under oath.
The Chicago Democrat called himself an innocent man and said he intends to clear his name. He rejected requests that he resign, saying voters nominated him for another term even after he had been arrested.
Smith says he won't abandon those voters so long as parents need jobs, children need health care and people need police protection.
Smith is accused of taking a $7,000 bribe in exchange for trying to steer a state grant to a daycare center.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)